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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Beware the Fury of a Patient Man

Was looking at Twitter again.

It's like watching the 9/11 coverage, those videos over and over again that day. That someone could do something so horrible to us -- and yes, it was done to all of us.

In some ways, this is worse. This is our hired help, taking actions from Our House, and saying it's from us.  It was done to all of us.

But another thing struck me. We're protesting a President governing by fiat, rather than via Congress. And Congress sits with hands folded and waits. Some, because they're getting what they want from the Executive Orders themselves.

But with every protest, more ammunition piles up against the power of the Executive.  So... Let us suppose with the next Presidential election, the Republicans still control Congress, but a Democrat takes the White House.

"Well, hey, all you folks marched in the streets to protest Executive Orders.  You all said very loudly that you wanted us to ride the President hard and keep them under our control.  We're only doing what you asked for.  Why complain now?"

How many of the actions against which we protest now, are what we have insisted on in the past, and will insist on in the future?  When Trump got elected, we complained about the Electoral College. I hear Trump wanted to start action to abolish it, and was discouraged from that by his staff. Why object now to what we thought was vital then?

The trouble with any radical view, is that it is radical. There are those who supported the radical Sanders against the radical Trump. I didn't and don't support Trump.  But does this mean that real moderation must cease to exist?

As for Sanders, well, he spent decades not wanting to be Democrat... till he wanted to run for President. Shouldn't have been a Democratic candidate. He's not a Democrat.

As for me, well, I'm not from any of the countries to which the bans have been applied. Not aware of anyone I know personally. But the bans are a Radical action. And like the surgery, radical actions tend to involve immediately hacking off large chunks. I look with suspicion on any radical.

Why? Pure, blatant self-interest. I'm not the guy who survives in a Radical world. If I stocked up on bottled water, canned food, guns and ammo... that'd just be more stuff in the basement for the Radicals to loot.

I'm a quiet man.  My dad was, too. I come from a quiet family.  My Dad was also one of those citizen soldiers who went off to Europe in the 1940s to shoot Nazis. To quote John Dryden, who was apparently quoting Publilius Syrus:

Must I at length the Sword of Justice draw?
Oh curst Effects of necessary Law!
How ill my Fear they by my Mercy scan,
Beware the Fury of a Patient Man.

 Unlike our ever-so-belligerent President, I wore a uniform with stripes on the collar for a few years. I wasn't particularly good at it. I held a firearm in uniform perhaps twice. Mostly I flipped burgers, or flipped omelets. But I showed up.  Peacetime military. Mostly because I couldn't find a job.

So like so many, I'm torn. I despise the belligerent bellowing of the coward in the White House. But I also don't trust marching in the streets. Eventually you run out of street, and the only place left to go is into the houses and such. Up to a point, I accept the marching as necessary, and perhaps at some point I may do a bit of marching myself -- rather better than the lifelong civilians, perhaps. But I don't trust it.

As for those who supported Trump, I can accept there are well-meaning and kind people who did that, perhaps for reasons they considered good and sufficient. Some of those supporters have been my friends for my entire life. But those who speak for his supporters are bullies and speak like bullies. And when they speak for him, they speak for those well-meaning and kind people, too. When Trump takes hateful actions and supports hateful people and ideas, he speaks for them, too.

And I wonder if any of them are having second thoughts.

And if not, why not?

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, and believed as a child.  But I became a man, and put away childish things."

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